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Friday 31st of October 2014 10:46:03 PM
 

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Monday, 27 October 2014 06:55 By Morris DC Komakech
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Government policies and spending key to achieving an HIV-free generation

The debate about a prospective HIV-free generation given the advent of WHO Option B+ attracts attention. Further probing of the idea may expose it as a distant utopia. To have an HIV-free generation, our communities must come to a convergence on reducing new infections.

HIV/AIDS is a disease left to wreak havoc among the destitute of the world. The wealthy and educated are surviving the scourge longer. Their children are able to avoid contracting the disease when compared to the children from impoverished communities. This explains why the global burden of HIV/AIDS is most prevalent in underdeveloped countries like Uganda.

To think about a prospect of an HIV-free generation, we have to see the big picture of the structure of governance, the quality of public policies and the distribution of critical resources necessary to secure prerequisites of health.  These forbearing conditions also shape how society places value on containing the HIV virus spread and caring for those living with the virus.

 
Monday, 06 October 2014 07:08 By Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
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Should we involve Uganda in endless wars with our trade partners on account of this?

“Abaine enaama, baita abatagiine” - meaning the ones who caucus first, can overpower the ones who do not caucus. Ekitetekatekirwe, embwa ekahuunga omukaro - sudden confrontation can lead to surprising outcomes like a dog running away from dried and spitted meat, thinking that it is a stone somebody has thrown at it. Obuyaayo bwaraba aha - a rubble has passed by here which is a riddle (ekiito)that is translated as “soldiers’ without a commander”.

Endimi nyingyi itukuriza obushera - many tongues spoil the broth.

All these proverbs refer to the problem of the dangers of lack of co-ordination and planning. Then there is another different angle that emphasises prioritisation. The relevant proverb says: “owabinga ibiri, imutsiga” - the one who tries to chase two animals when hunting, ends up failing to kill any.

By 1965, Uganda was moving fast towards a failed state on account of the pseudo - ideologies of sectarianism, chauvinism and disorientation. That is when the precursor of the NRM emerged in the form of some chapters of the student movement. The new things these students movement brought were, mainly, two: first of all, patriotism in ideology (anti-sectarianism and anti-chauvinism); secondly, organisational cohesion, discipline and very strict prioritisation. That is how the NRM steadily grew and, eventually, gained the upper hand and dominated the political space.

 
Monday, 29 September 2014 06:21 By Morris DC Komakech
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Militarise agriculture, education, rural economies, and breaking the spirit of the country

The Pope has decried the rampant conflicts in and around the world, calling it "piecemeal World war III". War is not a game; it destroys lives and livelihoods, ravages homes, and stalls the very essence of humanity. Ugandans have experienced so many senseless wars with the same outcomes that they have become resistant to war-talk as an alternative of changing government. This is one aspect where rational and politically conscious individuals should applaud our opposition leaders who reject war talk.

The Pope can as well be right in his assessment that the world is experiencing piecemeal world War III.  According to the Center for Systemic Peace, since 1946, there have been 331 episodes of armed conflicts around the world. Currently, there are 32 armed conflicts going on around the world. The US has launched 201 of the 331 wars and masterminded many others, according to reports in a 2012 Journal of Peace Research [49(4): 565-575].

Statistic shows that since the end of WWII in 1945, over 50 million people have been killed, tens made homeless and million others left with injuries and bereavement. In the history of warfare, the twentieth century has been accredited as the bloodiest. According to sources, three times more people have lost lives in wars in the last ninety (90) years than the previous five hundred years.

 
Monday, 22 September 2014 06:31 By Dani Rodrik
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How do politicians who are unresponsive to the interests of the vast majority of their constituents get elected?

It is hardly news that the rich have more political power than the poor, even in democratic countries where everyone gets a single vote in elections. But two political scientists, Martin Gilens of Princeton University and Benjamin Page of Northwestern University, have recently produced some stark findings for the United States that have dramatic implications for the functioning of democracy – in the US and elsewhere.

The authors’ research builds on prior work by Gilens, who painstakingly collected public-opinion polls on nearly 2,000 policy questions from 1981 to 2002. The pair then examined whether America’s federal government adopted the policy in question within four years of the survey, and tracked how closely the outcome matched the preferences of voters at different points of the income distribution.

When viewed in isolation, the preferences of the “average” voter – that is, a voter in the middle of the income distribution – seem to have a strongly positive influence on the government’s ultimate response. A policy that the average voter would like is significantly more likely to be enacted.

 
Monday, 15 September 2014 07:01 By Joseph Were
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Big money deals expose political power fights

The scandal over the award of the contract to upgrade the 74km Mukono-Katosi road to an alleged fake company, Eutaw Construction Company Inc., has exposed how corruption can be the handwork of top-level politics. It gives a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes political fights happening today that sometimes leave even President Yoweri Museveni helpless.

When Museveni commissioned the Mukono-Katosi road on July 7, 2014, for instance, he was fully aware of the scandal swirling around it but he was helpless to stop it.  He had several reports on his desk that Eutaw might in fact be a fake company.  The office of the IGG had first complained about it in February 2014.

But Museveni appears to have been aware that recurrent public procurement debacles in State House are a result of intra-NRM political manoeuvres and systemic constraints, and not merely corruption. He knows that even if a public official desired to do good under the current system, they might fail and that politico-structural remedies are required, not purges of individuals or single projects.

 

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